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December 21, 2019

Matt Painter

Eric Hunter Jr.

Aaron Wheeler

Trevion Williams

Indianapolis, Indiana

Butler - 70, Purdue - 61

Q. Matt, another kind of tough night shooting the ball. Seemed like they just couldn't find a way to get out of that little funk again.
MATT PAINTER: You know, you're going to have some games where you struggle shooting the ball from the perimeter. I think that's the one thing that we've put a lot of time into recruiting people that can shoot threes. But when you get the ball to the rim and you miss lay-ups, especially against a team without a shot blocker -- that's what I told them in there, our concentration level has got to be better, and that's what we've got to work on, whether that's a post move or a drive or a dump-down, or an offensive rebound put-back. We had a lot of opportunities in and around the basket that we just didn't finish. We've got to do a better job with that.

Q. Is it as simple as just shooting or is there a little bit more to some of the woes that you guys are going through?
MATT PAINTER: I think the woes that we get to with our guys is that I think it affects other parts of our game. You know, you get the ball at the post and you're five feet away and you get to your move and you miss it. You drive and you get a lay-up on -- we had three, I think, breakaway lay-ups that we missed. We probably had four or five put-back type point-blank lay-ups that we missed. I think that is discouraging from a player standpoint because nobody is trying to miss them. It's like missing a free throw, like nobody is trying to miss a free throw. But it's discouraging. You feel as a player you should make lay-ups and you should make free throws, and then it affects other part of the game, and you kind of get down on yourself.

Collectively we're not a mature group. We're just not. We're mature people, but we're not a mature basketball team yet. We've got to do a better job of being connected. We've got to do a better job of just being consistent. A lot of times with groups that haven't done it yet, it's not the failures that mess them up. They'll respond to a failure. They don't respond to success. When you beat Virginia, that messes with them way more than when you get beat by Butler because it's obvious people leaving this game right here, it's obvious. The things I just said, it's easy to say.

But when you play Virginia, is that who you are or was that an outlier? Or is this who we are, or is this an outlier? You get into that with young groups and young players and even some guys' experience because now trying to get them in their roles and trying to get them to do what they're doing, no matter what your role is, you've got to play hard. You've got to compete. You've got to be able to help the next guy in front of you, and right now we're not consistent with that.

Q. Trevion, with Matt out, I know you're trying to pick up the offensive load down there in and around the basket. How difficult has it been for you to try to make good decisions on each possession whether to try to score or kick it back out?
TREVION WILLIAMS: Just most importantly for us was the defensive end. He helps a lot on the defensive end because he's so long. It's harder to score with him. I'm not much of a shot blocker so I try to stay solid without fouling. I struggle in the past with like get I early fouls and taking myself out of the game, so it's been kind of tough without him. But just got to move on and keep playing.

Q. Eric, I don't know if you just heard what Coach said about this not being a mature group, being mature people but not a mature team, where do you feel like that comes from from here on out? How does this team have to grow into what he was talking about?
ERIC HUNTER JR.: I mean, I think it comes from just trying to be a consistent team as far as putting games together. But it starts with putting practices together, putting workouts together and just being able to do the same thing over and over again and just kind of be repetitive and play hard and wanting to win.

Q. Eric, is it as simple as poor shooting, or as Coach mentioned, there's a lot of other things that when you guys miss shots, it affects the other parts of your game.
ERIC HUNTER JR.: I mean, I think it's a nice part of it, simply because, like he just said to us, the only way you instill confidence in yourself is just being in the gym, working out and seeing the ball go in on a day-to-day basis. But I mean, I think it's more defense than anything.

Q. You guys have had a very difficult non-conference schedule. Do you feel like at least from the wins and losses both that you can take a lot out of what's gone on in November and December now that the Big Ten season is getting ready to start?
AARON WHEELER: Yeah, I think that's kind of why Coach kind of tries to schedule hard for us in the non-conference just so when it comes toward March when we're playing great teams every night, even in the Big Ten schedule, just so we're used to playing that type of competition. So we know what to look for or like what to look for. I mean, obviously we don't want to lose, but I feel like we can learn a lot from our losses, we just have to build on that and improve.

Q. Trevion, how do you guys get back closer to what you did against Virginia as opposed to maybe what happened tonight?
TREVION WILLIAMS: I mean, I think we're just fine, like I said. Just move on and get better each practice. Last year we walked out of this building 6-5, and I believe we can do the same thing we did last year. You know, things happen. It's a part of it. But we've just got to get better.

Q. Aaron, just for you personally, to have the kind of game you did tonight, to see the ball go in the basket, what does that mean for you as you get into the rest of the season now?
AARON WHEELER: I mean, it's good to see it go in, but I feel like regardless if it goes in or not, I'm going to shoot open shots. My coaches, my teammates give me confidence to shoot, so it's obviously nice to see it go in, but they always give me the confidence to just continue to shoot, and I just have to keep putting extra work.

Q. Just kind of for whoever wants this, it's kind of been a bit of a season long deal where you guys have gotten really good opportunities at the rim, but struggled to finish them. Is there any common denominator to that? Is there any sort of solution that sort of comes to mind right away?
ERIC HUNTER JR.: I think it's just concentration, simple as that. I mean, even the one I smoked in the first half, I was too busy worrying about what was going on behind me instead of just going at the rim and finishing it myself.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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